Rare medical conditions and suggestive past-life memories: a case report and literature review

Author information

  • Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora, Brazil; São Paulo Medical Spiritist Association, São Paulo, Brazil. Electronic address: g.lucchetti@yahoo.com.br.


We aim to report the case of a 38-year-old male with suggestive past-life memories during a regression session and to show how these memories were related to unusual medical conditions: (1) isolated obstruction of the right coronary artery in a young patient, (2) omental infarction, and (3) right aortic arch with isolation of the left subclavian artery. These conditions were related to the following suggestive past-life memories: (1) a priest who committed suicide with a crucifix nailed to his chest and (2) a medieval weapon (skull flail) hitting his cervical and left back region. There was an intriguing relation between the patient’s suggestive past-life memories and rare medical conditions. In this article, the authors highlight possible explanations, rarity of findings, and similarities/differences from previous cases and potential pitfalls in this area.

© 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Reincarnation, Spirituality, Suggestive past-life memories

[PubMed – in process]

On the belief that one body may be host to two or more personalities


The belief in the validity of the multiple personality concept is discussed in this article. Two scaffolding constructions are analyzed: dissociation and repression. As generally employed, these constructions grant no agency to the multiple personality patient. The claim is made that the conduct of interest arises in discourse, usually with the therapist as the discourse partner. In reviewing the history of multiple personality and the writings of current advocates, it becomes clear that contemporary users of the multiple personality disorder diagnosis participate in a subculture with its own set of myths, one of which is the autonomous actions of mental faculties. Of special significance is the readiness to transfigure imaginings into rememberings of child abuse, leading ultimately to the manufacture of persons. The implications for both therapy and theory of regarding the patient as agent in place of the belief that the contranormative conduct is under the control of mentalistic faculties are discussed.

[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

The interface between multiple personality, spirit mediumship, and hypnosis

Author information

  • University of Miami.


In this paper I draw parallels between multiple personality, spirit mediumship, and hypnosis from historical, anthropological, and clinical perspectives. I emphasize Milton H. Erickson’s view of multiple personalities as not necessarily pathological but as potential resources. He employed hypnosis to gain access to personalities and to transform their behavior from involuntary to voluntary actions. I discuss similarities between this view and the use of spirits as a resource with mediums. Natural trance therapies in other cultures offer a new perspective for viewing the normalcy or pathology of “other selves.”

[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

A call for an open, informed study of all aspects of consciousness

  • Department of Psychology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

Science thrives when there is an open, informed discussion of all evidence, and recognition that scientific knowledge is provisional and subject to revision. This attitude is in stark contrast with reaching conclusions based solely on a previous set of beliefs or on the assertions of authority figures. Indeed, the search for knowledge wherever it may lead inspired a group of notable scientists and philosophers to found in 1882 the Society for Psychical Research in London. Its purpose was “to investigate that large body of debatable phenomena… without prejudice or prepossession of any kind, and in the same spirit of exact and unimpassioned inquiry which has enabled Science to solve so many problems.” Some of the areas in consciousness they investigated such as psychological dissociation, hypnosis, and preconscious cognition are now well integrated into mainstream science. That has not been the case with research on phenomena such as purported telepathy or precognition, which some scientists (a clear minority according to the surveys conducted http://en.wikademia.org/Surveys_of_academic_opinion_regarding_parapsychology) dis-miss a priori as pseudoscience or illegitimate. Contrary to the negative impression given by some critics, we would like to stress the following:

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Where the imaginal appears real: a positron emission tomography study of auditory hallucinations


An auditory hallucination shares with imaginal hearing the property of being self-generated and with real hearing the experience of the stimulus being an external one. To investigate where in the brain an auditory event is “tagged” as originating from the external world, we used positron emission tomography to identify neural sites activated by both real hearing and hallucinations but not by imaginal hearing. Regional cerebral blood flow was measured during hearing, imagining, and hallucinating in eight healthy, highly hypnotizable male subjects prescreened for their ability to hallucinate under hypnosis (hallucinators). Control subjects were six highly hypnotizable male volunteers who lacked the ability to hallucinate under hypnosis (nonhallucinators). A region in the right anterior cingulate (Brodmann area 32) was activated in the group of hallucinators when they heard an auditory stimulus and when they hallucinated hearing it but not when they merely imagined hearing it. The same experimental conditions did not yield this activation in the group of nonhallucinators. Inappropriate activation of the right anterior cingulate may lead self-generated thoughts to be experienced as external, producing spontaneous auditory hallucinations.

[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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